The best hoteliers find ways to anticipate guests’ needs (and wants) and meet them in a personalized fashion. Sometimes that happens in real time, but more often than not it requires an understanding of trends in travel and implementing service changes before the trend peaks. With so many future trends centering around technology, it’s more important than ever for hotels to have a Wi-Fi gateway that can handle the load. Here are just some of the technological amenities future guests will be expecting.
Personalized guest experiences powered by smartphones
Pew Research has found that more than three-quarters of Americans already own smartphones. Those pocket-sized supercomputers enable communication, research, location services, entertainment, and more. As their presence approaches ubiquity, consumers will have higher expectations about what they’ll be able to do with their phones while at your hotel. A few of the current and future possibilities include:
- Request their car from the valet
- Control the room’s lighting, thermostat, and curtains
- Ask for extra towels
- Schedule a massage in the hotel spa
- Track health goals in the fitness center
- Order room service
The benefits of so many people owning smartphones go beyond convenience and enable hoteliers to strategically plan custom experiences using the data transfer smartphones enable. When guests sign in to the hotel’s wireless network, many will do so using a social media account. That provides the hotel with basic demographic information you can use to “wow” your guests. For example, take shaving. Most adults shave, but demographics may dictate which toiletries they use to shave. Women may prefer shave gel while black men may prefer shave powder. These small details allow hotels to proactively meet guests’ needs without using a one-size-fits-all approach.
Customization is about more than just toiletries, though. Data gathered from loyalty apps and beacon technology help hoteliers learn guest preferences and traffic patterns to better enable suggestions and service.
BYOD without limits
The bring your own device (BYOD) wave has already begun. Rarely do guests rely on the computer in a hotel’s business center to check email or social media. They bring their own laptop, tablet, or smartphone (sometimes all three) and expect to be able to connect all the devices to hotel Wi-Fi. Additionally, guests bring connected watches, gaming systems, and devices like a Roku that enable casting. All of these things require Wi-Fi. Hotels that limit the number of devices guests are allowed to connect to hotel Wi-Fi and hotels with wireless networks that are unable to handle the demand for bandwidth will struggle to meet guest expectations.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
To make a hotel stay feel more like home, consumers will come to expect the same in-room assistants and voice-controlled conveniences they have at home. Gone will be the days of landline telephones and calling down to the front desk. Guests will merely need to ask the in-room assistant for an extra blanket or restaurant recommendations based on their specific dietary restrictions and preferences. And thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), guests will want to use the same voice-control technology to dim the lights, turn on the television, and start the coffee pot.
Robots are entering the hospitality landscape with flare. Thanks to AI and machine learning (ML), along with GPS navigation, robots will become accepted as commonplace in the hospitality industry. Already some chains are using them for concierge services, deliveries, and as bellhops. There are a couple of reasons your guests will come to favor robots: efficiency without feeling obligated to tip. While it may seem to be a novelty now, it will come to be as much of a part of the expected routine as vending machines and blow dryers.
As you can see, in the not-too-distant future guests will expect everything to be connected. In the same way guests in decades past came to expect color television, 21st century guests will expect to get the local weather forecast, the chef’s special of the day, and events they might enjoy on the TV screen in their room, just by speaking the request. Hotel devices will integrate with personal devices in meaningful ways, creating an environment where information meets entertainment.
How to future-proof
Make no mistake. The future of hospitality will be driven by technology. That technology will be wireless and will require a Wi-Fi gateway that is up to the task. Think of your hotel’s wireless network as plumbing. It’s behind the scenes, guests don’t notice it unless it stops working properly, and it’s foundational for things guests expect to be able to do during their stay. All the fanciest fixtures in the world will be a wasted expense if the water doesn’t come out of the showerhead when your guest wants to take a shower. Gadgets are great, but only if your hotel wireless network supports them properly.
To future-proof your properties, you need to start with a scalable wireless infrastructure, with Wi-Fi engineered for the technology of today AND tomorrow.
For more information about scaling up for guests’ future expectations, talk to a Samsung hospitality Wi-Fi expert. It only makes sense that the company who makes the devices design the network that connects them.SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION